The Rayos are the wokest set of sibling teams in the world.
Rayo OKC, Oklahoma City’s North American Soccer League team, recently tweeted out an explanation of what its new uniforms (“kits”) mean. The design, which takes after sibling club Rayo Vallecano of Spain’s La Liga, showcases the various causes that the team represents: Purple is for non-violence, justice, and diversity awareness; blue is for Autism awareness; green is for family farming and ranching; yellow is for military families, as well as PTSD awareness and suicide prevention; orange represents food insecurity and hunger awareness; red is for education awareness.
Rayo Vallecano, however, one upped the Oklahoma team, noting that the rainbow color represents a seventh cause: LGBT rights. Rayo OKC didn’t include that interpretation in the tweet, despite the rainbow flag being a well-known symbol of the cause.
According to advocacy organizations the Human Rights Campaign and Freedom Oklahoma, Oklahoma led the country in the most anti-LGBT bills introduced in the 2016 legislative session as of late January.
These far reaching measures range from a proposed Joint House Resolution that would put the right to discriminate on the ballot; an extremely dangerous pro-“conversion therapy” bill; numerous pieces of legislation attempting to undermine marriage equality; proposals aimed at authorizing individuals, businesses, and taxpayer-funded agencies to cite religion as a legal reason to refuse goods or services to LGBT people; bills seeking to restrict transgender people from using facilities consistent with their gender identity; and even a bill explicitly allowing student groups to exclude some students – including those who are LGBT – without losing university recognition or funds for doing so. One outrageous bill – Senate Bill 733 – even goes so far as to invade the privacy of all Oklahomans seeking marriage licenses by requiring them to be tested for communicable and infectious diseases – and unconscionably denying them a license if the test proves positive.
While the state’s “slate of hate” was eventually defeated, pervasive anti-LGBT sentiment in the legislature obviously persists.
Cynical but realistic Joanna suspects that the soccer team might not have wanted to alienate its religious fans. Still a cool gesture, just maybe not quite as cool as it could have been.